Long-distance runner Mercyline Chelangat has defeated 3000m steeplechase Olympic gold medalist Peruth Chemutai to scoop the 10km race in the National Cross country championship in Tororo district.
Chelangat crossed the finishing line at 33:31 to beat her closest competitor, Sarah Chelangat who crossed the finishing line at 33:32. Peruth Chemutai came a distant third in 33:42. In the same race U-20, 5000m bronze medalist Chesang Prisca finished fourth in 33:45.
The 2018 Commonwealth bronze medalist Chelangat did not have control of the race in almost the first 6 km. Chemutai led almost the 8km but surrendered the lead to Mercyline Chelangat towards the last 1km.
Chelangat, who also represented Uganda in the over 10000m distance in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games, said it was not easy to compete with short distance runners because of their pace but she used her endurance to defeat them.
Olympic Gold medalist Chemutai was kicking off her 2022 season following her great victory in the Olympic games. She, however, started with the long-distance, which is not her area of expertise.
Uganda World Life Authority’s Ali Chebures won the males 10km race crossing the finishing in 29 minutes and 3 seconds followed by Geoffrey Kusuro who came a second while Joel Ayeko came third.
After winning the race, Chebures said it is a good start for the season as he looks forward to winning a medal in the Olympic games. “Am preparing for the commonwealth, I want to be there and win gold in the 5000m, it is good that I have started the season with a win,” he said briefly.
Ndejje University’s Yeko Dismus won the 8km junior men’s race when he crossed the finishing line in 22 minutes and 16 seconds while Police’s martin Kiprotich came second posting 23:24 minutes and Rogers Kibet finished distant sixth with a time of 23:36
In the women 6km race, Police’s Chebet Scarlet emerged winner posting 20 minutes and 4 seconds, followed by Loice Chepkwemoi who finished the crossing line in 20:4 minutes while Prisons’ Cherop Rispa came third in 20:5 minutes.
The event attracted several stars to improve their times as they prepare for the forthcoming 2022 Commonwealth Games. This was the first event on Uganda Athletics Federation- UAF 2022 season calendar.
Benjamin Njia, second Vice president in charge of technical at UAF applauded the competitors for the spirited fight, specifically in the junior races.
“We have seen very incredible results in the junior races, so this gives us hope in the future of athletics, what the Joshua’s and Chemutai’s have done has motivated these young athletes to take part in the championship,” Njia said.
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